State of war
A rebel military officer, portrayed in a Bollywood film of the early 2000s, had said unequivocally when questioned of his antics that violated norms of peace at the Line of Control separating India and Pakistan that, "We have been at a state of war with Pakistan since 1947." While vehemently denied by his seniors, the words carried more truth than simple fictional portrayal. Despite an evident facade of friendship, peace has been rattled regularly by our neighbour, only intermittently being recognised as officially organised warfare; Indo-Pak relations have only bittered since the subcontinent was partitioned at the midnight of August 14-15, 1947. Terrorism, hijacking, bombing, showering of bullets, abduction, loss of life and property have paralysed both nations across the northwest frontier—which otherwise would have been capable of etching a lasting mark on the international map. This homegrown enmity between the symbiotic neighbours has proffered an age of doom upon modern civilisation with the whiplash being experienced most by the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir and armed forces across both sides of the border. Pakistan with its insecurity and dwindling democracy, where terror mongers carry the upper hand, is grappling with low GDP and unenviable growth rates, as its population displays little faith towards the government, which is usually understood as a mere puppet in the hands of the radicals. The 26/11 Bombay blasts which were orchestrated by terrorists cocooned in Pakistan and now the impending Kulbhushan Jadhav case, have only worsened the already sour relations between the two countries. Pakistan has been castigated by the international community for failing to curb the rampant activities of terror being fuelled on its land—despite a bounty being put on Hafiz Saeed and the entire world (except China) recognising it as a terror fuelling nation, its activities have not stalled. The brutality which it condones or worse proliferates has not only paralysed the Indian community but brought on a shadow of doom upon its own economy. But, so self-consumed is it today in saving its face and rationalising its irrational activities that ethical decision making has taken a backseat, quite out of foresight. The battle with India, rather than forging a solution is more inclined towards prospering an inflated ego that is almost out of bounds. Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from the Iranian border by the ISI under suspicion that he was a RAW agent, carrying on India's secret service activities. Thereafter, he was convicted without sufficient reason and after over a year of being in prison, a secret military court of Pakistan had granted him death sentence under suspicion that he was mongering subversive activities in the provinces of Balochistan and Karachi. At a point before his sentence, Pakistan's Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had in fact stated that there was lack of evidence to prove that Jadhav was involved in terrorist activities; the files submitted on his guilt carried mere statements. However, reeling under military pressure, Aziz took a quick u-turn and stated at the time of Jadhav's sentencing that under no circumstance would Pakistan be willing to submit Jadhav to Indian custody. The Ministry of External Affairs in India, which has been very proactive in protecting Indian in foreign lands, has vehemently denied Pakistan's allegations, stating that Jadhav served in the Navy only till 2002. Further, Pakistan denying Jadhav legal rights and India consular access to him has been in complete aberration of international laws and the Vienna Convention. As India protested at The Hague, the ICJ came clear staying the death sentence ordered to Jadhav, emphasising that Pakistan must allow him to meet his family. Reeling under international pressure and looking to further its case in the ICJ by fulfilling the requisite norms, Pakistan allowed Jadhav's mother and wife to meet him, this Christmas, separated by a glass wall across two rooms. Though Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif highlighted that this meeting was allowed keeping in line with Islamic practices of benevolence and kindness, it is no secret that this provision was made only for Pakistan to save its face before meeting at The Hague. Jadhav has become a potent weapon for Pakistan to get back at India. A video released sometime back recorded Jadhav owning up to his alleged crimes, stating that he had entered Pakistan from the Iranian border, with the intent of carrying out activities prescribed under RAW. He further stated in the video that he was grateful to Pakistan for being watchful over his mental and physical wellbeing and granting him access to meet his wife. Undoubtedly, he was placed under pressure to confess; else, when does a prisoner say sweet nothings while resting haplessly behind the bars. Pakistan has played the Jadhav game obstructing all conventions of international law and ethics, discounting the value of democratic right. The MEA has played a commendable role in pressurising Pakistan and bringing this issue on to the global front. Yet, to reach a final solution and bring Jadhav home, more must be done and a compromise ultimately has to be reached. What India is willing to give up to bring back Jadhav will be the impending concern.